Brooklyn Nets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder 11/18/16 Recap and Player Grades
The Brooklyn Nets lost their third straight game to the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight 124-105. This dropped the Nets to 4-8 and raised the Thunder to 8-5. This game got off to a very hot start for both teams as the score was 40-34 in favor of Brooklyn after just the first quarter.
Then, things start to fall apart for the Nets. Without Jeremy Lin yet again, Brooklyn struggled against one of the league’s best players and point guards in Russell Westbrook. Westbrook notched yet another triple-double with 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists. OKC outscored Brooklyn by 9, 11, and 5 in the second, third, and fourth quarters respectively.
The only production from the Nets of late, besides the last two for Bojan Bogdanovic, has been from Brook Lopez. Lopez put up 22 points on 8/16 shooting and 4/7 from long range. He also grabbed four rebounds, a steal, and two blocks. Honorable mention Anthony Bennett scored in double digits tonight with 12 points on 4/8 shooting and 2/4 from deep. Bennett got some good minutes as he saw 21 minutes of action tonight. It will be interesting to see what his role is moving forward.
Rebounds and points in the paint were literally the entire game in a nutshell. Brooklyn got out-rebounded 46-30 and got outscored in the paint 62-42. With Trevor Booker only getting four points and both Lopez and Bennett hitting multiple long balls, there really was no one to score from down low. Lopez has turned into more of a stretch guy for Brooklyn making it hard for down low production as often.
Grading the Players
I will give Brook Lopez, Anthony Bennett, Justin Hamilton, and Joe Harris A’s tonight. Despite the lack of rebounds from Lopez, he has been putting this team on his back a lot in Jeremy Lin’s absence. He is scoring and extending his range and bringing energy to the team. He is also starting to look a little better defensively of late too.
Anthony Bennett got productive minutes for the first time in a while. Scoring in double digits and snagging three rebounds probably felt pretty good for him. Joe Harris hit 2/3 of his shots including his lone long ball. While more points are nice, seven from a shooter off of the bench is not the end of the world; at least he was efficient with his shots. Justin Hamilton scored ten points on 4/6 shooting and 2/4 from range. I will take a good shooting night from Hamilton just about any day of the week.
I will give Bojan Bogdanovic a B. It is tempting to grade him lower, especially after the past couple of games, but he was efficient. Bojan scored 13 on 4/6 shooting and 1/1 from and and 4/6 from the charity stripe. It is clear Bogdanovic is moving further away from the arc and slashing to the basket a little more.
Sean Kilpatrick gets a C. Coming off of the bench again, Kilpatrick only scored 10 points. He did it mainly by going 4/5 from the free-throw line. Kilpatrick only shot 3/9 from the field and missed all three long range attempts.
Trevor Booker gets an F. Four points and four rebounds is unacceptable. He is a double-double machine. If he does not get close to achieving one, you should be disappointed. He is capable of better than four and four.
Brooklyn needs to work on their rebounding as a team if they want to be competitive all 48 minutes against teams like the Thunder. Lopez and Booker need to get more than a combined eight rebounds on a given night. Big men should be averaging eight rebounds a night a piece.
Brooklyn finally heads back home for a Sunday afternoon match-up against Damian Lillard and the Portland Trailblazers. The Thunder stay right where they are as they await the arrival of the Indiana Pacers for a match on Sunday night.